At the UNESCO-Huawei International Forum on Digital Platforms and Teacher Competencies last Wednesday, Egypt’s Ministry of Education officially launched the National Distance Learning Center for Continuing Professional Development for Teachers. The learning center was developed as part of the Open Schools for All project, based on UNESCO and Huawei technologies, which is being implemented in Egypt, Ghana and Ethiopia from 2020 to 2023.
At the beginning of his speech, Reda Hegazi, Minister of Education and Technical Education, expressed his joy of attending the forum, expressing his gratitude and appreciation to UNESCO and Huawei for their support and for choosing Egypt as a partner in the Open Schools project. . He also praised the achievements of the Open Schools project in collaboration with the Professional Academy for Teachers and the UNESCO Cairo Bureau.
Alongside the launch of the learning centre, the forum explored best practices in relation to the Technology Enabled Open Schools for All (TeOSS) project. Implemented in partnership with the ministries of education in Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana, the UNESCO and Huawei TeOSS project is piloting and testing digital education platforms in the three African nations. It also provides digital skills training for teachers and students, develops policy frameworks for digital education and evaluates the efficacy of the project with a view to expanding TeOSS to other nations in Africa.
In Egypt, for example, 300 teachers have been trained in digital skills through the project, and the new learning center will increase distance learning and digital literacy opportunities for 950,000 K-12 educators in underserved communities.
In his speech, Sobhi Tawil, Director of the Team for the Future of Learning and Innovation at UNESCO, welcomed the attendees of this forum, praising the collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Egypt and its role in supporting future horizons. He added that the forum is within the framework of Huawei’s project to create open schools and increase digital learning competencies from 2020, which has contributed to increasing the quality of education, ensuring access and continuity of education in Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana and that Egypt is one of the first countries to implement the digital learning initiative, noting that the opening of the National Distance Learning Center in Egypt represents a major step in digital transformation.
The TeOSS project is designed to combine online and offline learning to achieve maximum educational outcomes and also to ensure continuity of learning in both normal and crisis conditions. According to UNICEF, for example, more than 616 million students were still affected by full or partial school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic by January 2022.
Along with the launch of the learning center and the TeOSS project, the two-day forum explored best practices for building digital platforms and faculty capabilities, sharing resources internationally, and expanding collaboration in digital education. The forum was attended by government ministers and senior officials from Egypt, Ethiopia and Ghana; UNESCO and Huawei representatives; TeOSS partners; and international experts.
Joyce Liu, Director, TECH4ALL Digital Inclusion Program Office for Huawei
Education matters for everyone and our strategy is to improve the digital skills of educators to meet the challenge in Egypt. Let’s work together to build a more inclusive and sustainable digital world.
Dr. Reda Hegazi, Minister of Education and Technical Education
The Open Schools program has achieved remarkable achievements in the education sector in Egypt in terms of capacity building and preparation of enrichment training courses for teachers, various digital platforms and the establishment of a National Center for Distance Learning to improve the skills of teachers in Egypt.